You could face arson charges if you are accused of setting fire to someone’s home, business, land, or possessions in Pomona, CA. California can prosecute arson very harshly, as many people in the state worry about the effects of dangerous wildfires.
Therefore, it’s important that you get professional help right away if you are accused of arson. The team at the Simmrin Law Group can start working on your defense today. Our arson defense lawyers in Pomona can help if you are facing charges for either:
- California Penal Code Section 451: Malicious Arson
- California Penal Code Section 452: Reckless Burning
Find out how we can build your case for both PC 451 and 452 charges right here.
California Uses Two Different Charges to Prosecute Arson
You can be charged with either malicious arson or reckless burning if you are accused of arson in California. You should be aware that these two charges are treated differently by the California court system, with malicious arson resulting in harsher penalties.
According to PC 451, individuals can be charged with malicious arson if they start a fire with a specifically malicious intent. This means that the prosecution will need to prove that you committed arson out of anger, spite, or due to other malicious emotions to secure a conviction under PC 451.
Reckless burning charges are prosecuted under PC 452. Reckless burning involves starting a fire for the thrill or amusement of it. Acts of arson motivated by a mental illness – such as pyromania – may also be prosecuted under PC 452.
You should also be aware that:
- Malicious arson is always a felony in California
- Reckless burning can be a misdemeanor or a felony
A criminal defense lawyer in Pomona can help you if you are accused of either malicious arson or reckless burning.
There Are Harsh Penalties for an Arson Conviction
As we mentioned earlier, the court system in Pomona usually hands down harsh penalties in arson cases. The penalties you could face can vary depending upon the specific arson charge you are facing. Depending on your situation, you could face:
Time in Jail or Prison
A conviction for misdemeanor reckless burning can lead to six months of jail time. Felony reckless burning and malicious arson can lead to longer periods of incarceration, including:
- Up to three years for burning your property if it catches someone else’s property on fire
- Up to six years for burning an uninhabited building
- Up to eight years for burning an inhabited building
- Up to nine years of a fire causes great bodily harm
Generally, misdemeanor reckless burning lead to fines of up to $1,000. Felony reckless burning and malicious arson may result in fines of up to $50,000.
The court system can add up to five years onto your prison sentence in some situations. This extra time may be added if you are accused of setting a fire that:
- Harmed an emergency worker
- Caused great bodily injuries to more than two people
- Damaged multiple structures
- Involved the use of an accelerant
- Involved the use of a device to delay the fire from starting
You could also face an extended prison sentence if you were previously convicted of arson in the state of California. Based on these serious penalties, it is important that you contact a property crimes lawyer in Pomona as soon as you are arrested.
You Can Get Help if You Are Accused of Arson in Pomona
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can start working on your defense right now if you are facing arson charges in Pomona. Our arson defense lawyers can work to weaken the prosecution’s case by arguing that:
- The evidence against you is circumstantial
- There isn’t enough evidence to show you committed arson
- There are potential errors in the evidence against you
We may also be able to argue that the fire you are accused of setting was the result of an accident. If you did not intentionally start a fire, you should not be convicted of malicious arson or reckless burning in Pomona.
Speak with a Pomona Arson Defense Lawyer Today
You don’t have to try to beat an arson accusation on your own. The Simmrin Law Group can help you stand up to reckless burning and malicious arson accusations. Contact our arson defense lawyers in Pomona now to get information about your legal options. You can reach us now for a FREE consultation.